(GunReports.com) — Representative George Peterson and Senator Richard Moore will be filing emergency legislation to address the Massachusetts firearm licensing crisis in the next few days, says the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) in Massachusetts.
According to a GOAL statement, for many months lawful gun owners who have been steadfastly attempting to comply with the Massachusetts gun laws have met roadblock after roadblock. According to the Commonwealth’s laws applications for a Firearm Identification Card (FID) or a License to Carry (LTC) must be processed within 40 days.
As of late it is not unusual for an applicant to wait six months for the process to be completed. Some GOAL members have been forced to wait months for a simple appointment to get the process started. Under current law licensed owners are only protected for 90 days after the expiration. After that exemption is exhausted, persons in possession of guns may be fined $500 to $5,000.
Unfortunately for the lawful gun owners of the Commonwealth, this is not a new problem, GOAL says. As far back as 1974 GOAL filed legislation to grant licensed gun owners a grace period due to application problems. The same happened in 1976 and again in 2004. In 2004 the wait got as long as 12 months. Now GOAL says the state is facing yet another breakdown of the firearm licensing system.
Taking into account that Massachusetts residents pay $100 for their license, more than double any other New England state, there is simply no excuse for these issues to continue to arise. One thing that has become increasingly evident is that the State is not capable of administering the licensing system it has put in place. Perhaps that in itself is a testimony to the incomprehensible set of gun laws that lawful citizens have to deal with on a daily basis, GOAL said.With all of the evidence at hand and the immediate urgent nature of a system wide failure, GOAL is asking the legislature to act on a piece of emergency legislation to do away with the term of an FID or LTC. The legislation would simply make these licenses valid until revoked or suspended. This would take the burden away from the state that it evidently can’t handle and the potential fines and serious issues with technically being an expired licensed gun owner in Massachusetts.